Responding to problems: actions are rewarded, regardless of the outcome

 at Public Management Review: “When faced with a problem, policymakers have a choice of action or inaction. Psychological research shows varying results on how individuals evaluate (in)actions conditional on the subsequent outcome. I replicate, generalize, and extend this research into a public management setting with two independent experiments embedded in a nationally representative sample of Danish citizens (= 2,007).

Both experiments show that actions are evaluated more positively than inactions – regardless of the outcome. This finding runs contrary to the inaction (or omission) bias but is consistent with evidence on a “norm of action”, in response to poor performance in political–administrative settings….(More)”